When I was a little kid reading comic books...Richie Rich and Archie primarily...I used to see an ad for sea monkeys. I don't know if was sheer repetition or some weird fascination...but I thought it would be cool to have some. I never saved up enough or hassled my mother to help me figure out how to obtain them...but I do remember thinking that they'd be cool. The problem was...I almost knew that they would not live up to what I thought they would be. In other words...it looked good on paper...but in reality? Perhaps not so much.
Isn't it like that sometimes? You read a menu at a new restaurant and carefully choose an entree that appears to be delicious and a good value. And then you get your meal and are disappointed because it is the size of a postage stamp or it tastes like a glorified Lean Cuisine. Unfortunately for me, someone at the table will inevitably order something that looks absolutely wonderful...which will make it worse!
My mother has told me that one of her worries about me was that I always built up everything in my mind to such a degree that disappointment was destined to follow. I'd look forward to something with gusto...and then if anything wasn't exactly according to plan...I was devastated. I had not noticed this pattern until I thought of her words and gently retraced some of the threads of pain in my life. She was right (aren't they always).
I think that now I try to prepare myself for the worst so that I keep myself from that crash and burn. I fail to get attached to people because I've done so before and had to get over it. I wait until it looks good on paper before I'll even remotely consider getting my hopes up about anything. I'm very decisive when it is about preferences...but I am overly cautious now about welcoming people into my heart.
Which...for the record...is NOT a good way to live!
For the past six months, Jill has been going out with different people instead of having a steady boyfriend. I've liked this because I thought that she needed to enjoy being 19, beautiful, and in college. I believed that a little variety was great for her. She has kept us in the loop...telling us when she was a date for an event or took someone as a date to one of hers. We've met several of them as they've passed through for a meal...or a weekend. While most of them have been very nice young men...it was abundantly clear that they were not right for her. Almost the date version of sea monkeys...
However, a couple of weeks ago, she accepted a date from a young man who was a friend of a friend. She met him in the library. And believe me (because I have "Googled")...this one looks great on paper. He's has the qualities of someone I want her to be dating. He's smart, handsome, involved, thinking of his future and he treats her with respect. He may turn out to be as great as I hope he is. But then again...maybe he's just another person that she is meant to meet along the way to meeting who she is meant to end up with long term.
But for now...I'm having fun sharing her excitement. And taking Mama's advice...I'm trying not to get my hopes up on her behalf. After really liking one she dated years ago...maybe I've learned enough to keep everything in perspective. I certainly hope so!